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2017/18 Lectures Season Archive

Our usual lecture seasons run from October to June, culminating with our AGM.

These are the details of our lectures for this season: use this page to get a feel for the kind of lectures you could enjoy free of charge as a YAYAS member or as an aide memoire for those elusive lectures you've enjoyed over the years.

2017 – 2018 Lecture Season


30th September 2017


175th YAYAS Anniversary Lecture


Dr. Peter Hogarth, YAYAS Member


Peter Hogarth gave an anniversary lecture for YAYAS 175th anniversary.  The lecture was held in King's Manor allowing for a larger audience. Peter took the theme 'the history of York is the history of England' and extended that to showing how the history of Museum Gardens is the history of York. Beginning with the shaping of the Gardens area by the Romans, Peter described how a Benedictine Abbey was first built there, succumbing to the Dissolution, becoming King's Manor and the seat of the Council of the North and then partly acquired for the Yorkshire Philosophical Society. Peter noted that the history of the land is well documented with mundane information such as how much the gardeners were paid and exciting details such as what happened when the bear escaped.


18th October 2017


The Wood family and the River Ouse


John Shaw, Chair of YAYAS


The Autumn/Spring lecture season opened with a talk by John Shaw on the Wood family and the River Ouse. The story of the Wood family began in 1773 and they had firm connections with the Ouse itself. Mary Wood, definitely one of John's heroines, was a driving force in the Wood business, making it very profitable.  Wood and Co provided timber for the York's Great Exhibition of 1866 before finally succumbing to increase in road traffic and improvements in the ports of Hull and Google.  John also described the development of the Ouse itself, regarded as a 'constant' in the history of York.


15th November 2017


York Cemetery: Complete records of Burials from 1837 as an information source


  David Poole, YAYAS Member


David has mined the burial records assiduously. He showed us copies of several of the record sheets and developed explanations of how the records were just the jumping off point for historical discoveries of all kinds.  A society with many local members such as YAYAS could see how pertinent the records were to their own family histories. Sadly, there was no time for David to uncover as much as he could have done about the records. We must visit and search for ourselves.


17th January 2018


The Kiplin Hall Estate


Emma Wells


(An extended report on this talk is printed in the YAYAS Times Annual report issue of 2018.)


Emma's talk followed an excursion members had already made  to Kiplin Hall.  The Estate is substantial, related to Eastby Abbey and had included a medieval mill, mansion house and other buildings. An estate map dated 1723 and a painting of 1780 of the Hall itself both  enlighten and pose questions that remain to be answered.


21st February 2018


Heritage building and conservation: a perspective


Charles Anelay


(An extended report on this talk is printed in the YAYAS Times Annual report issue of 2018.)


Charles introduced his talk with a brief history of his family firm of seven generations before it closed. He mentioned several of the building projects the firm had been involved in , moving into heritage work with a discussion on considerations of what to conserve and what to restore. Cultural considerations also come into play.  The debate about conservation might sometimes feature attitudes that might be ill-informed, new areas of investigation will continue to emerge.


21st March 2018


Roman silver mining in the north Pennines


Al Oswald


 (An extended report on this talk is printed in the YAYAS Times Annual report issue of 2018.)

The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has the UK's worst river pollution. The Environment Agency was unable to account for 80% of this pollution. This led to Al's investigation in which two themes emerged: architectural heritage and industrialised evidence. Aerial and electronic surveying and investigation of plant types and with local community engagement resulted in identification of 20 settlements in the area.  Al also described mining operations and while silver is associated with lead his talk was much more and lead than silver!


18th April 2018


Sally Walker


Understanding and future-proofing historic buildings


 (An extended report on this talk is printed in the YAYAS Times Annual report issue of 2018.)


Sally described her own career and how her interest in materials and the construction of buildings came to fit into international understanding and policy proposals regarding environmental concerns. Noting the several international environment events which gave rise to the Climate Change Act, 2008.  Sally explained the importance of 'understanding not bluffing' when considering materials for use in construction in the context of CO2 emissions.


16th May 2018


Kurt Hunter-Mann, Archaeologist and Treasurer for YAYAS


Excavations on the site of St. Leonard's Hospital


The dig on this site took place over four seasons from 2010 to 2014.  The site is a complex one and ranges from the Roman occupation to a World War II air raid shelter. Kurt used diagrams and site maps to help us understand the site which, though small, resembles a 3-dimensional jig-saw puzzle.


20th June 2018 (following the AGM business)


John Shaw, Chair of YAYAS


The Bedern fire, 1876


(The full talk is printed in the YAYAS Times Annual report issue of 2018.)


John described the Bedern conflagration which resulted in the loss of warehouses and stock as well as damage to the Bedern Chapel and other buildings in the vicinity. Firefighting services were for a while inadequate and the militia were called in to bring the blaze under control. A policeman was heroic in entering a blazing warehouse where a factory's steam boiler had been left with a full tank of water and the steam valves closed.  He opened the valves thereby preventing an explosion and probably saving lives. Crowds had gathered in Goodramgate, perhaps as much to be entertained by the drama of the event as by concern for the outcome, while the occupants of the cottages in Bedern were loud in their concern for the safety of their children and their furniture.

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